4 out of 4 stars
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Our Autumn Years by Arthur Hartz is an entertaining book on aging that captures the condition of the old people entering or passing through this phase. This is a book of cartoons and aphorism with satirical commentary that is both funny and insightful by nature. It prompts the readers that old people shouldn’t be taken as “annoying chipboard,” rather, these elderly have their challenges and problems that are frequently ignored. Hence, instead of handling them badly or as a used paper, they deserve attention and respect, not pity.
The author is a professional medical researcher and an amateur anthropologist who studies quaint customs in primitive cultures such as the one you live in. His perspective on aging is accompanied by his medical experience and his collaboration with this community. It’s a fourth book by the author. His other books include: “The Sling and Arrows of Mundane Fortune,” “Winners and Losers,” and “Inconvenient Truth about Relationships.”
The book has seven chapters. It shows how the elderly cope with deteriorating capabilities that become a challenge not only for them but also for society. Some lingering issues they have to face throughout their old age are the health issues, the sense of loneliness that results from shifting to nursing homes, fragility, and their demand from young people to help them but don’t jeopardize their freedom of choice. He also mentions about their relations with doctors and their life with the old brain (like memory loss) that sometimes put them in the awkward condition. He describes through illustrations that how old people celebrate their little achievements and opt for creative hobbies that make their dull life meaningful and adventurous.
I like the way the author presents an optimistic view of the aging process that is usually stigmatized with negativity. He maintains that in this old age people need tranquility and wish a kind of status quo, unlike young people who are energetic and continuously seek thrill in their lives.
Nonetheless, it’s our general experience that whenever we sit with some old person, we enjoy gossiping with them. We learn from their past experiences, and they share with us some bites of wisdom that we can’t get otherwise, in our so-called busy routine.
Moreover, the relatability and clarity of illustrations to the topic discussed in the book are excellent. The commentary along illustrations is in the hand-written format, but it’s legible and clear. The editing and formatting of the book are professional and appealing. I didn’t notice any mistake, and it’s free from any negative content. The book contains an insightful and worth-considering message for its readers and reminds them of their duty towards this sensitive segment of society. It discloses their problems and issues in a humorous and lighthearted tone. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to all readers, especially the young ones who need to understand the physical and psychological needs of the elderly.
Our Autumn Years
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